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OUR VIEW: More fireworks mean better festivities

One week from today, people in Mitchell will get a little extra freedom.

Yes, in seven days we celebrate our nation's independence. But we also get a little more leeway to use fireworks in the city.

Earlier this month, the Mitchell City Council approved the use of fireworks between noon and midnight on July 3-4 on properties adjacent to Lake Mitchell. That's a change to the city's old fireworks ordinance, which essentially banned their use altogether.

We're curious to see how much more lively the lake is during the Fourth. Aside from a few small concerns, we're fully in favor of the more lenient law.

First, we like the idea that was brought by Councilman Marty Barington because it will make Mitchell a better holiday destination. More fireworks means more excitement — which could bring more out-of-towners to the city due to a better show. Not only will people around the lake get to enjoy the wonderful annual fireworks display, but we're certain those who shoot their personal fireworks will give spectators a lot more to look at before and after the main event.

Allowing fireworks around the lake also eases the burden for the Mitchell Police Division, which each year has to race around the city trying to warn and nab people illegally shooting fireworks in the city limits.

We hear the same problem each year that officers don't often ticket people for shooting fireworks because it takes observation to cite the person. Despite dozens of complaints that people are illegally shooting fireworks in the city, officers can't really do anything about it. Now, the area around the lake will be one fewer location officers will have to report to when a complaint is made.

And, the change in ordinance just kind of makes sense. We've never really understood exactly why Mitchell bans fireworks when our state allows them to be sold. This is the first step in making that right. So, we ask residents to utilize this space designated at the lake to shoot fireworks, as opposed to shooting them in residential areas elsewhere in the city.

Our only concerns are, of course, safety and cleanup efforts. More fireworks mean more possibilities for someone to get injured. They also mean more garbage around the lake, but city officials are working ahead of that potential problem by asking for volunteers to pick up after the holiday.

But for the most part, let's party on this Independence Day in Mitchell. Fireworks just help make for better festivities. Let's celebrate.